U-22 Japan National Team comes from behind to defeat 3-time defending champion England in first match of the 47th Toulon International Tournament 2019
02 June 2019
On Saturday 1 June, the U-22 Japan National Team faced the U-20 England National Team in the first match of the 47th Toulon International Tournament held in France. Despite taking control of the match in the early minutes, the U-22 Japan National Team struggled against the English side after conceding the opening goal. However, the Japanese side prevailed at the end by scoring two goals in the second half to start off the tournament with a victory.
For their first match of the tournament, Japan started OBI Powell Obinna in goal with a three-back defence line formed by KOGA Taiyo, OKAZAKI Makoto, and OMINAMI Takuma. While SHIIHASHI Keiya and TANAKA Ao played as the defensive midfielders, NAGANUMA Yoichi and FUNAKI Kakeru were placed in the flanks. It was KAMIYA Yuta and ITO Tatsuya positioned in the attacking midfield position with OGAWA Koki named as the lone striker.
At the beginning of the match, Japan was forced to be in the defensive end with the three-time defending champion, England taking the initiative, but gradually took control of the match as they adjusted to their opponents’ approach. In the 17th minute, Tanaka and Ogawa played a give-and-go before sending a through ball upfront. It was the team captain, Kamiya who responded to the delivery, as he dribbled into the box before striking a shot, but his effort failed to capture the target.
Another opportunity was created in the 19th minute, when Ogawa forced a turnover deep in the opposing territory, but the final shot taken by Kamiya went straight at the goalkeeper. Just a minute later, Japan came close from scoring a goal, but this time Ogawa’s shot fell short from finding the back of the net.
Despite their dominance over England, Japan conceded the opening goal in the 38th minute. The goal was scored from a corner kick, where Trevoh CHALOBAH struck a header to give England a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Japan managed to score the equaliser early in the second half. In the 47th minute, Ominami responded to an excellent freekick delivered by Funaki, where the ball penetrated the space between the English defenders and the goalkeeper. With Ominami converting the delivery, the match was levelled at 1-1.
The go-ahead goal came in the 68th minute, when Ito broke through the left side, before entering the penalty area. With Ito making a deep cut to shake off the defender, he delivered a cross that connected perfectly with Naganuma in the far side, allowing Naganuma to strike a header into the net.
With Japan taking the lead, England made their efforts to equalise the match. Despite seeing some close opportunities that threatened their goal, the Japanese defenders showed their persistency to keep the one-goal lead intact. It was all England in the closing minutes of the match, but Japan managed to keep their lead until the final whistle, as they earned a 2-1 victory over the defending champions in their first match of the tournament.
Coach and Players' Comments
YOKOUCHI Akinobu, Acting Coach
This was a result of our players giving their best efforts until the very end. We had some shaky moments in the early minutes of the first half, but as the match progressed, we got back our composure and played very well. Many players showed their intention to get involved in our plays, and we managed to initiate a quicker start than our opponents to take control of the match. Even if our offence was in good form, we cannot attack with the defence playing poorly. In that sense, our defence did a great job to face the ball, create coverage for the team, and collect the second ball to put our offence in good position. We will now face Chile, who is another strong team. It will certainly be a tough match, so we will train and prepare ourselves ahead of the match.
DF #5 OMINAMI Takuma (Jubilo Iwata)
(In the scene where he scored the equaliser) The delivery from Funaki took a difficult bounce, so I just threw my body to make sure I get contact with the ball, and as a result, I was able to score the goal, so I’m glad it went in. We faced some difficult situations in defence, but we kept encouraging each other to fight through the tough stretches as a team. As long as we win through each of our matches, we can reach a higher position in this tournament, so we hope to continue with our efforts.
MF #6 NAGANUMA Yoichi (Ehime FC)
I am glad that we were able to win against a strong team like England. When I scored the go-ahead goal, Ito delivered a perfect cross, so I just had to tap it in. I feel like we were able to showcase a good performance today, and it was great to see our team withstand the tough stretch we faced at the end. We will give our best efforts to prepare ourselves ahead of our next match against Chile.
MF #7 ITO Tatsuya (Hamburger SV)
In the scene where we scored the go-ahead goal, I delivered the ball with hopes that someone will get to the end of my cross, and Naganuma was in the perfect position to convert that cross. We had to endure a tough stretch at the end, but I feel like we were able to showcase the team concept as a whole today. I personally would like to get myself more involved to our team’s goals, so I will do my best to create plays that can produce goals in our next match.
|The 47th Toulon International Tournament 2019|
|Sat. 1 June||2-1||1st Match vs England
(Aubagne/Stade de Lattre)
|Sun. 2 June||AM||Training|
|Mon. 3 June||AM||Training|
|Tue. 4 June||16:05||2nd Match vs Chile
|Wed. 5 June||AM||Training|
|Thu. 6 June||AM||Training|
|Fri. 7 June||17:05||3rd Match vs Portugal
|Sat. 8 June||AM||Training|
|Sun. 9 June||AM||Training|
|Mon. 10 June||AM||Training|
|Tue. 11 June||16:00||Play-Offs (9th-12th Place)|
|Wed. 12 June||15:00/17:30||Semi-Finals (Aubagne/Stade de Lattre)|
|Thu. 13 June||16:00||Play-Offs (5th-8th Place)|
|Fri. 14 June||AM||Training|
|Sat. 15 June||13:30/16:00||3rd Place Match/Final (Salon/Stade D'Honneur)|
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.
The 47th Toulon International Tournament 2019
Tournament Dates: Sat. 1 - Sat. 15 June 2019
Sat. 1 2019, 22:05 (Japan Time)
vs England National Team
Tue. 4 June 2019, 23:05 (Japan Time)
vs Chile National Team
Sat. 8 June 2019, 00:05 (Japan Time)
vs Portugal National Team
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